World / Asia-Pacific

FM delivers message of unity to India's Modi

By Pu Zhendong ( Updated: 2014-06-10 19:33

Beijing and New Delhi should cooperate in depth on their strategies and unite to realize "peaceful, cooperative and inclusive" development, President Xi Jinping said in a message on Monday to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The message was delivered by visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

As Xi's special envoy, Wang called on Modi on Monday at the prime minister's residence. The newly sworn-in Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a landslide election victory in May.

Xi said the dreams of both China and India to build strong nations and upgrade the living standards of their people have much in common.

"The two countries should support each other with their respective strengths and build a close development partnership … in order to benefit their people and enhance the peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the whole world," Xi said.

Modi said he highly appreciates China's achievements in the field of development and personally cherishes friendly feelings toward China.

He said India's new government is willing to join China to achieve common development, especially in the fields of infrastructure, manufacturing and the IT industry.

On boundary issues, he said both countries should maintain peace and tranquility in border areas in order to guarantee the development of bilateral relations.

Saying bilateral relations are at "a new starting point", Wang said China is ready to cooperate with India in the fields of development theories and ideas, and to exchange and learn from each other in the practice and theories of governance.

Wang also met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee later on Monday.

The Chinese top diplomat started his two-day visit to India on Sunday, when he held talks with his new Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. India called the talk a "productive and substantive" step towards stronger relations between the two neighbors.

Wang's visit heralds a slew of engagements between the two countries in the next six months. Xi is expected to pay an official visit to India later this year at Modi's invitation. There are at least five other meetings likely to take place between the two countries at the levels of president, prime minister, vice-president and foreign minister, Times of India reported.

Observers said frequent meetings between senior Chinese and Indian officials on bilateral and multilateral occasions show the two countries have established a strong communication mechanism.

Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said, "It means relations between China and India have evolved to a mature phase, where both countries manage their differences and expand cooperation at the same time."

Wang said India's "Look East" policy and China's acceleration of "opening its western region" should integrate to facilitate the fusion of markets and a new pole of global growth.

The two countries will also work to advance the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, which was proposed during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India last May.

Fu said outward development of the two countries have overlapping areas and interests, which should be reviewed as opportunities instead of competition.

"The two countries have to realize that one's strategic plan is not targeted at the other," he said.

Ma Jiali, a researcher of Indian studies with the China Institute of Contemporary International relations, said Beijing will forge closer economic links with the new Indian government not just because of Modi's personal style, but also because of the practical demands of India.

"Nationally, the overall problem in the Indian economy is the lack of infrastructure, which tallies with Modi's economic philosophy," Ma said.

"His experience in Gujarat improving its infrastructure is expected to be promoted nationwide, and China has the edge in terms of technology and capital."

China is India's biggest trading partner, with two-way commerce totaling close to $70 billion. But India's trade deficit with China has soared to more than $40 billion, local media reported.

Reuters said the Indian economy grew by 4.7 percent in 2013/14, marking the second straight year of sub-5 percent growth and the longest such slowdown in more than a quarter of a century.

Calling economic growth "paramount", Mukherjee told parliament on Monday that the new government will pursue a broad economic reform agenda focused on job creation through public and private investment.

Modi has spoken of his admiration for China's economic growth in the last decade. He made several trips to Beijing in his previous post as chief minister of Gujarat state.

The two countries have also agreed to hold activities in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which was jointly initiated by China, India and Myanmar in 1954.

Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story.

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